Old Hunstanton -St Mary's Church ,Norfolk
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
N 52° 56.916 E 000° 30.750
31U E 332879 N 5869448
A Lovely 14th century Church with some unusual features.
Waymark Code: WM84TN
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 01/28/2010
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Brentorboxer
Views: 1

The present pulpit is fairly modern, octagonal in shape and resting on eight pillars of red marble. The pulpit itself is of white stone and alabaster with recessed panels adorned with sculptured figures of Our Lord and the four Evangelists and was a memorial to Henry Styleman le Strange from the parishioners, superseding a Jacobean three decker.

The early Norman font. It consists of a square bowl, roughly carved, supported by four corner shafts and a thicker central shaft. The mosaic pavement surround was taken from a design seen by Henry le Strange on a visit to Vienna and was laid in the 1850's.

Entry into the church is through the South Porch which has a decorated entrance with stone tracery. An etching dated 1817 shows a beamed ceiling within the porch which was removed during renovation in 1864. Possibly there had been a chamber above but there is no trace of a door leading to it.

The coffin appears to have been opened at some stage because there is what seems to be a line of modern cement sealing the edges.

The following is general information about stone coffin lids and is provided by 'Lyn Stilgoe.

"There has been a recent detailed study of these grave slabs/coffin lids, which often survive without the actual coffin underneath. They may have also been used over wood coffins or even a hole in the ground. They were originally positioned in the chancel, and the current thinking is that they may be a status symbol for the person who paid for major building or re-building of a church, often a priest.

Many of those found in the west half of Norfolk were made at Barnack, whereas in the eastern part of the county more appear to have come from Purbeck.

The use of a roundel with four petal like segments at both ends of the shaft indicates a date possibly in the mid 12thC. The other symbol, known erroneously as an "omega", is very popular, often with two of them back to back, a so-called "double omega". It is not thought that the people of that time would have known the greek letter, and if so would have associated it with alpha, which is never seen on these slabs. The current thinking is perhaps it imitates the hinges on a coffin, or perhaps the palms and laurels used in a funeral procession. The later versions seem to become more ribbon like, but no really satisfactory explanation has yet been made.

Many of these slabs have survived largely by being turned upside-down and used as a useful addition to the stone for the floor."

details from a leaflet inside the church.
Approximate Age of Artefact: The font is norman

Relevant Website: Not listed

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